The science fiction novels Dune by Frank Herbert are among the great classics of fantasy/science fiction literature. Today, the original title of the first edition of this cycle is inextricably linked with the series. The first novel was published in 1966 and 12 million copies were sold until the death of Herbert 20 years later. He had his work followed by numerous sequels. The series of novels was even continued after his death by his son Brian Herbert and the writer Kevin J. Anderson. For a long time, fans considered Dune impossible to be adapted for a cinema, although, the book has millions of fans around the world. This reputation also follows the novel because of its eventful history in the film industry. Now one of the most popular directors is making a new attempt.
The Series of Failures Began
A fight between powerful families, embedded in dusty deserts full of monstrous sandworms, is a drama in an apocalyptic environment. Bringing this to the big screen should be possible since Star Wars at the latest. Far from it, Dune failed grandly several times. It all began in the 1970s when the producer of Planet of the Apes was looking for new material. The rights lapsed after his death, and the search began again. In the middle of the 1970s, the director and author Alejandro Jodorowsky tried this task. Together with the comic artist Moebius, he created a concept that fans still consider to be groundbreaking.
A director also made a film-length documentary about the failure of this project. After all, stars like Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, and Salvador Dali were on the provisional cast list at the time. The Swiss artist H. R. Giger, who later became world-famous with his work Alien, created several design studies, which he also published. But all these celebrities did not help as the movie never came to the public light. Another director of Alien Ridley Scott took on the project a few years later and broke it off when his brother died. Instead of this movie, he released another classic work called Blade Runner.
Will Everything Be Okay At The End?
But that was not the end of the fans’ ordeal. In 1984 the first movie hits the screen. Director David Lynch realized his first major Hollywood project and failed across the board. That also because the studio rejected Lynch’s ideas, shortened the film, and thus destroyed the vision of the avant-garde director. The five-hour work was shortened to two hours and 17 minutes and ended up as a flop in the cinema. But now the Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is daring a fresh start.
He too put the extensive material by Dune on more than four hours. These are supposed to hit the big screen in two parts. The first trailer is already online and shows the expected visually stunning film language. Peppered with stars, the remake Dune should finally bring the success that fans believe it deserves. Villeneuve already proved a few years ago that he could handle legendary stories. His sequel to Blade Runner turned out great, but whether he will be able to lift Dune remains to be seen. The cinema release is planned for December this year. The fans are eagerly waiting for the experiment to succeed this time.